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An employee at a shipping and transport company told the Nicosia criminal court on Monday that he used to issue fictitious invoices at the behest of an executive at a waste management company who wanted to plug holes in the books of his firm. Giorgos Georgiou said he did work for Helector, the company managing the Paphos and Larnaca waste management facilities, who was headed at the time by Ioannis Kokotsis. At some point, he said, Kokotsis approached him and asked him to issue bogus invoices for services he had never provided. Kokotsis told him he had gaps in his books he was trying to cover. Georgiou presented eight bogus invoices of over €10,000 each, which he had managed to locate with the help of his company's accountant. The witness told the court it is possible there are other invoices but they had not yet managed to find them. The invoices were used to charge Helector for services that were never provided and the extra cash were subsequently returned to Kokotsis. Kokotsis had been arrested by police in 2016 when the scandal broke but was released without charge after he agreed to cooperate and provide evidence against others. Georgiou said one invoice that should have been issued for the sum of €4,941 was issued instead for €29,942; he later returned €25,000 to Kokotsis. The same was done for another one worth €1,300, which was issued for €21,300. The extra €20,000 were later returned to Kokotsis. The case concerns waste management company Helector, the operator of two landfills – one at Marathounda, Paphos, the other at Koshi, Larnaca – which is alleged to have overcharged municipalities by reporting higher waste volumes while public officials looked the other way in return for backhanders. The defendants are former Larnaca Mayor Andreas Louroudjiatis; Demetrios Patsalides (municipal employee); Michalis Pantis, Stelios Papadopoulos (civil [...]
Mon, Jun 18, 2018
Source Cyprus Mail
Auditor-General Odysseas Michaelides has raised a stink about the allowances given to employees of the state power company, after it emerged that he was being hoodwinked by its directors. While in recent months Michaelides was urging the board of the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) to review its allowances regime, with a view to reducing some and scrapping others, at the very same time the board were closing a deal with trade unions to restore some of the perks that were nixed during the austerity drive of 2013. According to daily Politis, both in 2017 and this year the auditor-general wrote to the EAC board recommending – yet again – the immediate review of all the allowances. In both cases, the EAC boss wrote back to Michaelides assuring him that the company was indeed ‘reviewing' the allowances. Except it turned out that the EAC board had a different understanding of the word ‘review'. Rather than slash the perks, the company was negotiating with the unions to either reinstate certain axed allowances or, in other cases, to restore allowances to their 2013 value. Some allowances were brought back following pressure from EAC staff, for example through work-to-rule actions. The syndicates argue that the agreement of 2013 to slash and/or suspend certain allowances also stipulated that these would be restored once the EAC made an economic recovery. The auditor-general sent his allowances recommendation to the EAC a few months ago, while he was compiling his draft report on the organisation's expenses. Draft reports are disclosed to the affected governmental organisations, so that they may provide their own feedback and remarks. Once these remarks are received, the auditor-general writes the final version of the report. According to Politis, Michaelides was none too happy with the EAC pulling the wool over his eyes. But he has not taken it sitting down: he wrote to [...]
Mon, Jun 18, 2018
Source Cyprus Mail
The Fine and Applied Arts Department of Frederick University will showcase its annual exhibition as of Wednesday under the name Post. The three-day exhibition by students of the BΑ programmes of Graphic and Advertising Design, Interior Design, Fashion Design and Image, and Audiovisual Communication, will give us the chance to see a year's worth of creativity at Isnotagallery in Nicosia. As seen from the pieces exhibited, the Fine and Applied Arts Department of Frederick University focuses on fresh and innovative ideas and encourages enthusiasm, humour and an open spirit. At the core of this exhibition lies experimentation, creativity, critical thinking and social awareness. Paired with the department's aim to nourish creative and conscious professionals with a broad knowledge of contemporary design technologies and applications, the artists and the artworks are testimonies to hard work and creative outlets. The exhibition will open on Wednesday at 7.30pm and will remain open until Saturday. Post Group exhibition by the students of the Fine and Applied Arts Department of the Frederick University. Opens June 20 at 7.30pm until June 23. Is Not Gallery, 11 Odysseus, Chrysaliniotissa, Nicosia. 10am-1pm and 5pm-8pm. Tel: 22-343670 The post An artistic conclusion appeared first on Cyprus Mail. [...]
Mon, Jun 18, 2018
Source Cyprus Mail
A senior member of staff at the shipping sub-ministry is trying to scupper water sports operators, their association said on Monday, during a demonstration outside the ministry's offices in Limassol. Water sports operators and representatives from the small business' union, Povek, gathered outside the ministry demanding that the long-standing problem, which affects their permits, is resolved. They outlined that the man in question, a senior officer at the ministry, has in the past year become incredibly difficult to work with over inspections. Now into summer season, several water sports operators say they have been unable to get their permits and instead keep receiving unclear and unprecedented notes and regulations. After meeting with the Deputy Shipping Minister Natasa Pilides, the demonstrators left saying they felt reassured the matter would be resolved. “We discussed the problems which are not personal and concern the broader implementation of the regulations and law,” Pilides said. ”We believe the law can be implemented in the best possible way so as to ensure safety but allow the tourist season to go smoothly.” Some operators left satisfied but were quickly angered again after the government official reportedly still refused to issue their permits. They returned to Pilides and are awaiting for answers they were promised to receive by the end of the week, according to Povek head, Stefanos Koursaris. The post Limassol watersport operators in permit protest appeared first on Cyprus Mail. [...]
Mon, Jun 18, 2018
Source Cyprus Mail
US President Donald Trump blamed migrants in Europe for violently changing the culture and for what he inaccurately described as a rise in crime in Germany as he sought on Monday to defend his administration's widely criticised policy on illegal immigration. Immigration activists, medical professionals, religious leaders, Democrats and some in Trump's own Republican Party have condemned his administration for separating nearly 2,000 children from their parents at the US-Mexican border between mid-April and the end of May. Administration officials have defended the tactic as necessary to secure the border and suggested it would act as a deterrent to illegal immigration – which Trump has long made a key goal of his presidency. In the face of criticism, which on Sunday included protests at immigration detention facilities in New Jersey and Texas and a sharply worded message from former first lady Laura Bush, Trump responded with a series of Twittter messages on Monday. “The people of Germany are turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition. Crime in Germany is way up. Big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture!” he tweeted. “We don't want what is happening with immigration in Europe to happen with us!” In May, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a “zero tolerance” policy in which all those apprehended entering the United States illegally, including those seeking asylum, would be criminally charged, which generally leads to children being separated from their parents. Trump has previously falsely accused Democrats for creating the need for the family-separation policy. He has said their support for passage of a broader immigration bill would end the separations. In another tweet on Monday, Trump said Democrats were “weak and ineffective with Boarder (sic) Security and Crime.” “Tell them to start thinking about the [...]
Mon, Jun 18, 2018
Source Cyprus Mail
Sweden won an opening World Cup game for the first time since 1958 and ended their worrying goal drought with a 1-0 victory over South Korea that was a must-win if they want to progress from a tricky-looking Group F. After dominating the game but missing a string of chances, Sweden won a 65th-minute penalty when Kim Min-woo brought down Viktor Claesson in the box. Salvadoran referee Joel Aguilar initially waved the Swedes away, before being called to consult the Video Assistant Referee system. In the second VAR-awarded penalty of the World Cup, Sweden's 33-year-old captain Andreas Granqvist stepped up to sweep the ball low and left of otherwise impressive goalkeeper Cho Hyun-woo. That fired up the hordes of yellow-clad Swedish fans, who had been fearful their team would misfire again after failing to score in any of their previous three games. Sweden had not won an opening game at any World Cup since 1958, when they were runners-up in their best performance to date. The Asians actually began the game far brighter, pressing and harrying for the first 15 minutes against an initially sluggish-looking Sweden. But the Scandinavians quickly found their rhythm, coping comfortably with Korea's attacks despite the absence of defender Victor Lindelof through illness. The Swedes created a string of chances, most falling to Marcus Berg, who had one close-range side-foot shot spectacularly saved by Cho off his knee in the 21st minute. As expected, both teams' single star players were at the heart of their best moves, the silky Son Heung-min busting a lung to try and drive Korea forward from the left flank, and the pacy Emil Forsberg constantly feeding Sweden's big frontmen. Although not the most attractive of the World Cup games so far, there was a terrific atmosphere in the 42,300-strong crowd at the blue-and-white Nizhny Novgorod stadium next to a [...]
Mon, Jun 18, 2018
Source Cyprus Mail

 

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